Angel kiss dahlia [i] Angel Kiss Dahlia

Gouache on linen canvas

I absent mindedly brought a palette knife to a paintbrush party and here is the result.

glamorous dahlia [ii] Glamorous Dahlia

Muscle memory gets me every time. Thank you for viewing.

art creative writing poetry



Winter ices fire
in this midnight garden
where you left
me waiting in the haze
of a bucolic frost

It etches crystals
and invades my brea-
-thing streams
(There’s cramping)
But it seems …

Winter’s glance is bare
She whispers every-
-where through
twisters in this maze
With promises sublime
she sends my sighs
on down the wire
and I hope they’ll
stay away

Frost | SB

Photo: My index finger on a frosted car window one very cold morning in January.

opinion People

No Views

Are our expectations a little bit unrealistic? I saw a blog post today that started with, “No views today.” The complaint had nothing to do with the rest of the post but I read it and the ONE other post that was posted the previous day. As of this post, there were only TWO posts on that blog.

Anyone who is convinced that views are a magic solution to all problems should read this article. They do not come from nowhere, and sometimes, they might mean nothing. The Trichordist released a song that got 1,000,000 views on Pandora and he earned only $17.00. It is the harsh reality.

Or how about the news that Caitlyn Jenner smashed, according to the BBC, the Twitter world record by gaining one million subscribers on her first tweet? I do not believe everything I am told by journalists, especially because I know that a team of social media consultants worked towards that target. How on Earth did one million accounts detect Ms. Jenner’s presence on Twitter if they were not expecting it? Think!

I am the above-mentioned blogger’s only subscriber at the moment. I was annoyed by “No views today,” because the follow-up was, “I don’t think I understand being social yet.” No-one can automatically detect a blog in cyberspace unless they are invited to view it through some medium or other. If not, it must be indexed before they look for keywords associated with it. 

When I started this blog, I did not quite remember that. That is why I thought that as soon as I published my first post, people from my country would be all over it to read my opinions on a current political issue. I was mistaken, so I moved on quickly and focused on other things. Nowadays, my blogging mantra is, “Don’t get up yourself.”

Here is the other reason why I have that mantra: I rarely see page views from my home country. Recently, a fellow blogger stopped visiting this blog after I mentioned that she was living (as an expatriate) in my home country. People who speak my third language avoid reading my blog, too. One expressed shock that I typed it fluently, with the correct level of formality. “C’est la guerre,” I tell myself and move right along. I am not suited to everyone’s taste. 

I check my stats maybe once a month (while covering my eyes). Did I think about how many people read my blog today as I was immersed in a battle over the placement of a comma in the notes for a fiction story? NO!



Originally published January 20, 2016 @ 13:42 EDT.
Updated February 02, 2016 @ 16:00 EDT.


Washing Instructions

Made in China
Gouache on wood panel (processed)

Size: 3 – 4 Y/104

Special thanks go to Garfield Hugs, who posted the actual label, shown below. That photo is super over the top processed so here is a thumbnail of the original.


… and the label from which I got the text.


Keep calm and have a great week. xo

Ancient Past creative writing fiction poetry

Empress Tikki

Shxpir for Harper's Bazaar ChinaThe actuary’s gaunt face presented harshly against the hush of apprehension that gripped the room. The Empress veiled herself with a blank expression. When no one was looking, she released a slow eye roll.

Etiquette dictated that she not show scorn or deference. Today was particularly challenging. On the eve of expansion, the actuary stopped to raise a challenge. He had discovered two spots on a six inch map. The surveyors looked confused. But they quietly agreed that this was a democracy, and let him have his say.

Trailing off the table were yards of hemp scroll. Empress Tikki wanted to wrap it around his neck. “One more passage and then we’re whole, one last signing is the end I’m told…”

Shadowed by nervous ministers, the actuary started clearing his throat. The metallic timbre induced, in the Empress, a maddening primal scream. “Be impermanent in this please, do not drag it out another note…”

♫ Gffmh-gmffh gffmh-gmffmh gffmh-gmffh fhmm
hmmfh fmmgh fhmm hmmfh gffmh-hhhmm ♫

“Pray the deities, restore my soul,” muttered the Empress, “we are held hostage by a mating goat.” She flashed a smile to restore decorum. The actuary had until sunrise to interrogate the two moth stains.

Empress Tikki | SB

Photo credit: SHXPIR for Harper’s Bazaar China, 2014. Musical inspiration:  Habanera from Carmen by Georges Bizet.

Ancient Past creative writing fiction


Golden sculpture of a woman

The King touched his daughter’s hair again, in his usual way, to reassure her. She became more radiant each time he did. That morning, five thousand suitors had laid siege to their home in Phrygia. It was the Princess’ eighteenth birthday.

The Princess spent her days veiled and curtained in ornate suites. She swam in a heated pool and tended to a greenhouse garden populated by Earth’s rarest flowers. But she was all alone. Women had been banished from court for fear they would harm her. Men, for fear they’d seduce her.

In response to her pleas, her father offered a cold warning about evil in the world. “My dear, you are afflicted with indescribable beauty. Learn to love the lonely hours.”

Later that night, the crowds were still chanting her name. All the palace guards were stationed at the outer gates. Advisors suggested moving the Princess to a safer location. But no amount of persuasion would change the King’s mind.

Sensing she was not being watched, the Princess slipped out of her room and ducked into a cupboard. Through the service corridors she ran, finally reaching an exit door. It was almost dawn.

As she hurried to the clearing, she tripped, fell and hit her head on a stone. She lost consciousness and slowly bled on some leaves. When she woke, she felt very heavy but managed to look down at her legs. She could see that they had changed into beautiful golden casts.


Midas | SB

Image credit: Sculpture via pictography

art poetry


Flight No 3

 Where blended charcoal
Passion’s Stone

and zealous labour horizons hold
up silent towers tall and bright 
we rise, undaunted,
through the night 


Flight | SB